Admittedly There’s Nothing Out There, is barely a Troma film due to Troma merely distributing the film after it’s already been out for 20 years. That stated, There’s Nothing Out There was released in 1991 by Image Entertainment is a Horror/Comedy that is a wonderful send up of the horror genre. I’ve read comparisons between this film and Scream as both films are heavily self-aware, but I feel that’s as far as their comparisons go. As beyond characters stating the rules of a horror film the tone and general everything else about the films are different.
There’s Nothing Out There opens with a woman, Sally (Lisa Grant) being attacked in a video store, but just as she dies she wakes up realizing it was just a dream. Unfortunately she had fallen asleep driving and crashes her father’s car. As she calms down a strange green light falls from the sky and into a puddle next to the car. She is then attacked by a creature and cuts away not revealing her fate. The rest the film centers on seven friends, Nick (John Carhart III), Stacy (Bonnie Bowers), Jim (Mark Collver), Doreen (Wendy Bednarz), Janet (Claudia Flores), David (Jeff Dachis), and Mike (Craig Peck), who are all spending the weekend at Nick’s parents house in the woods. On the way to the house the group passes the ruins of the car Sally was driving and they can overhear the cops talking about how they haven’t found the body. Mike notices this as a warning, from seeing too many horror movies. Mike keeps warning his friends of the impending doom as more and more horror movie cliches happen around them. That night Janet and David go for a walk against Mikes repeated warnings. This results in David being eaten and Janet knocks her self out by running into a tree head on during her desperate flight from the creature. While this is happening Jim and Doreen make the decision to go skinny dipping, luckily Doreen gets spooked, causing the couple to back inside to continue their time together by the fire. The creature attempts to attack them, but the couple by is interrupted by Mike saving them. Finally over his horror shenanigans and constant doom saying the group locks Mike in the basement as punishment. In the morning, the basement is flooded, a window is broken and Mike is missing. Worse it soon becomes apparent that Mike was right after all…
I’m conflicted about this movie and I’m not sure why. The acting is passable, well for a B movie it is. Craig Peck does a great job as being both entertaining and like-able, which is a bit of feat giving how bad some of his dialogue is. I also really enjoyed Bonnie Bowers as Stacey and for more than her being in a bikini for the later part of the film. Like Craig Peck, she manages to stand out. Which is more than I can say for the rest of the cast who all seem to sort of bleed together.
I loved how they played with the horror genre, poking fun at the more obvious tropes. I also loved the beginning scene in the video store. I actually paused the movie to see how many VHS covers I could recognize. Sadly the answer is not nearly enough. I really enjoy films that are self aware on some level, as it seem to greatly help with my suspension of disbelief.
What I find impressive is that this film was written by Rolfe Kanefsky when he was eighteen and still in high school. I also like that he directed it when he was twenty and then stood by it for three years to get distribution. That’s a lot of work and his passion shows.
Final thoughts, well I think I hit all the main bases. The only thing that I didn’t talk about being the monster, which is basically a huge frog with tentacles teeth and laser eyes. I also enjoyed that the creature was stupid. It fit well with the comedy side of the film. Overall I enjoyed the film, but can’t say much more. The film gets so zany sometimes it forgets it’s a horror movie and those moments really drag down the film. So at the end of the day There’s Nothing Out There gets 6/10.